West Brom head coach Tony Pulis labelled James McClean “not the sharpest tool in the box” after the player gestured towards fans of former club Sunderland at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
McClean was the subject of jeers from sections of the away support during West Brom’s 1-0 win – the Republic of Ireland international previously claiming to have been “hung out to dry” by Sunderland prior to his exit over his refusal to wear a remembrance poppy in 2012.
Derry-born McClean celebrated briefly in front of the visiting fans after the final whistle, much to the anger of Sunderland pair Danny Graham and Lee Cattermole.
Pulis has had discussions with McClean over his behaviour before, when he snubbed the British national anthem in a pre-season friendly this year.
And the West Brom boss stated he would do so again if the 26-year-old was in the wrong.
“I’d heard a roar or whatever and didn’t know whether the players were involved in something. If he’s out of order, I’ll speak to him,” he told reporters.
“He played really well, James. He’s settled in really well and is a smashing lad. The lads have really taken to him.
“He’s not the sharpest tool in the box, and that’s not being disrespectful to him. But he’s a smashing lad.”